Pia Vuorela was the coordinator of two large research projects; ArtFilm (2013-2017) with a funding of 2.

1 M euro from the Academy of Finland and PRINT-AID (2017-2020) a European Training Network with a total funding of 2.3 M euro.

PRINT-AID 2017-2020, European Training Network

PRINT-AID is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Training Network (ETN) that aims to train young researchers in developing a new generation of personalized anti-infective medical devices. This ETN is an interdisciplinary consortium that will involve the participation of 10 institutions in Europe and 2 in the United States and will attempt shortening the path from basic research to clinical applications, particularly in the field of medical devices and biofabrication. It will create a network of young professionals, with a profound, yet wide understanding of the field of infectious diseases applied to medical devices, and the tools/knowledge needed to concretize clinical developments, including in vitro and in vivo microbiological models, formulation science (especially printing technologies), data management as well as the industrial and regulatory outlook. At the same time, PRINT-AID will offer stakeholders and policymakers in the European healthcare system a strong proof-of-concept effort of innovative alternatives to reduce the burden (both in terms of financial costs and in terms of mortality/morbidity) associated with hospital-acquired infections. The close collaboration between academic and industrial beneficiaries will prepare students to succeed in both fields, which will favor their individual education, increase their employability opportunities and create a network of researchers that will resonate in their institutions and at the European level. Moreover, the participation of 5 companies (4 SMEs) is a clear support for PRINT-AID’s commercial potential, both in the long- and short-term. 

The University of Helsinki team consist of:
Professor Pia Vuorela (scientific coordinator)
Dr. Karita Peltonen (project manager)
Docent Adyary Fallarero (co-supervisor)
Dr. Malena Skogman (co-supervisor)


  • University of Helsinki, Finland
  • University of Ghent, Belgium
  • Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
  • Voxdale, Belgium
  • University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Academic Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • Aptuit Verona, Italy
  • University of Porto, Portugal

Partner organisations:

  • Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, USA
  • Madam Therapeutics, The Netherlands
  • 3DTech, Finland
  • Biosurface Technologies, USA
ArtFilm 2013-2017, Academy of Finland project

Fabricating bacterial biofilms via artificial nano(bio)components (ArtFilm) is an Academy of Finland funded project (FinSynBio), where the aim is to use the synthetic biology approaches to engineer bacterial biofilms and to gain an understanding of how to approach the ethical and public perception issues associated with artificial living systems. 

Our aims are to:

-Set up multiple molecular functions on a biofilm matrix, using computational methods as a guide in the process
-Build different nanostructures as well as bio-materials to control the surface-biofilm interactions, biofilms growth and biomass production
-Develop new tools to turn biofilms into nano-factories that can produce valuable chemicals/drugs
-Control biofilm functions when they are formed in medical devices
-Bridge synthetic biology developments on bacterial biofilms closer to the public, by making the research more accessible to a general domain and by understanding the public needs, fears and responses. 


Consortium parties:

  • Pia Vuorela (consortium leader), University of Helsinki
    • Adyary Fallarero
    • Malena Skogman
  • Mark Johnson, Åbo Akademi University
  • Markku Kulomaa, University of Tampere
  • Mikael Lindfelt, Åbo Akademi University
  • Jouko Peltonen, Åbo Akademi University
  • Pekka Varmanen, University of Helsinki
Project funded by Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation 2017-2019

This consortium project is lead by Docent Adyary Fallarero with an overall funding of 640 000 euros. This translational project will be run during the period 2017-2019 and was granted from the Jane and Aatos Erkko's foundation (Jane ja Aatos Erkon säätiö) to advance early drug discovery research focused on the identification and characterisation of new Quorum Sensing Inhibitors, as novel anti-bioflm strategies. The main goal is to develop a set of new drug naturally-inspired candidates, acting as Quorum sensing inhibitors (QSI) of the LuxI/LuxR system, essential for Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation. The project will focus on: 

- Mechanistic studies of QSI inhibitors and their ability to counteract biofilms
- Structural refinements of already identified QSI compounds 
- In silico screens of QSI 
- Combination studies of the most active leads with known antibiotics

This effort is a collaborative consortium involving also the groups of prof. Jari Yli-Kauhaluoma (medicinal chemistry) and Docent Henri Xhaard (computational discovery).

For more information, please contact: adyary.fallarero

Twin-A 2017-2019, Academy of Finland project